Breaking: Sen. Ted Cruz just announced a "soft hold" on the bill to provide emergency funding to fix Flint and other city's water pipes and reduce lead contamination. Click here to chip in $5 or more so we can stop him!
I'll give you the "good" news first, if you can even call it that. Yesterday, a bi-partisan coalition of Senators including Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D-MI), Gary Peters (D-MI) and Jim "Snowball" Inhofe (R-OK) reached a deal that would send $250 million to Flint and similar communities exposed to tainted water due to crumbling sub-par infrastructure.1
The bad news is that the deal is still being hitched to a dirty energy bill that would expedite approval of fracked gas infrastructure. -- And NOW Senator Ted Cruz has placed a 'soft hold' on the Flint bill so he can consider it while campaigning in Texas on his record of climate denial and opposition to action on clean water.2
Click here to chip in $5 to help us turn our toll free hotline on Cruz and any other senator who’s blocking a vote on flint money.
The good news is the compromise proposed by Senators Stabenow and Peters would give us what we asked for: A separate, up or down vote on money to fix Flint's failing water system.
The bad news is more extensive and is contained largely in the fine print of this so-called "agreement." First off, the deal is vastly watered down (pun intended) from the $600 million Stabenow and Peters were seeking to SPECIFICALLY address the atrocity occurring in Flint.3 Secondly, $250 million of the money is allocated for communities with tainted water and outdated infrastructure OTHER than Flint. To put it into perspective, even Michigan Gov. Snyder has agreed that it would take at least $1.5 billion to replace the pipes in Flint alone.4 That means not only is Flint getting less cash, but other communities will be forced to compete for funds that amount to a drop in the bucket compared to cost of retrofitting leaky, lead-tainted water pipes.
What's worse is that passage of the bill that would send meager aid to Flint and other cities still hinges on passage of a dirty Energy Bill that Senate Democrats have rightfully filibustered for the last month. Senator Murkowski's energy bill would open up swaths of land to increased fracking and fast track the approval of fracking pipelines and other infrastructure. It's nothing more than a Frack for Flint Dirty Deal that doesn't do enough for the people while doing everything for Big Oil.
This is no time for Quid-Pro-Quo or Flint-for-Frack. The people of Flint and other cities deserve action right now that is not associated with a dirty Energy Bill that puts us on a path to climate chaos and tainted frack-fluid in our water. And while it's frustrating that some in the Senate want to trade favors to get something done for Flint, it's deplorable that even one Senator would shut down the whole conversation so he can look more 'fiscally conservative' to some voters, while putting his Presidential aspirations over the needs of the people. Click here to chip in $5, $25, or more to help us call out Cruz and any other senator blocking a vote on Flint money.
Thanks for sounding off,
Anthony and the Environmental Action Flint Freedom Fighters
1. Cama, Timothy. Senate Reaches Deal on $250M Flint Aid Package. The Hill. February 24, 2016.
2. Goode, Darren. Cruz holding up Flint aid deal in Senate, Politico, February 25, 2016
3. Nann Burke, Melissa. Mich. Senators Reach $220M Proposal Affecting Flint. The Detroit News. February 24, 2016.
4. Livengood, Chad. Flint Mayor: Water Fix Could Cost as Much as 1.5B. The Detroit News. January 8, 2016.